#Petersfield: FitzRoy – Our Charity for the Year

It’s lovely when we find a charity which has values which align closely with our own. The charity for Beatons Petersfield’s first year, chosen by franchisee Fifi Zahedfar, FitzRoy does just that. Its values:
‘We see the person. We are brave. We are creative.’ aligns well with two clauses of our own Constitution:

‘We focus on developing attributes and skills of franchisees and staff alike because we believe it’s the single most important factor in creating personal and business success for each person, and therefore the group as a whole.’

‘We value individuals whether customer, franchisee, supplier or any other stakeholder because unless people are heard and nourished they feel disconnected and alone’.

FitzRoy was founded by Elizabeth FitzRoy and John Williams who each had children with a learning disability. Fifty years ago, most young people and adults with learning disabilities lived their lives in institutions, isolated from their communities and were often ostracised. These two parents had a different vision – to create small homes which enabled people with learning disabilities to lead the lives that they wanted to. They saw the person, they were brave and they created something special.

One of the first FitzRoy registered care home opened in Liss, Hampshire and today FitzRoy has spread out from Hampshire and now supports over 700 people in their own homes and in the community. In Hampshire, specifically FitzRoy includes several registered care homes, supported living care, and two day and community centres in Petersfield and Waterlooville. In East Meon the Rural Skills Project teaches people with learning disabilities to grow fruit, vegetables and plants. Here they have the joy of working In a country setting whilst gaining horticultural qualifications and woodcraft skills - watch out for their plant stalls in Petersfield! The charity has its HQ and the 'On Track' day and community centre a couple of streets away from Beatons.

FitzRoy also has a wonderful Hampshire based project to encourage engagement – perhaps even leading to a real engagement in the future – called Love4Life which helps reduce loneliness, social isolation and exploitation of people with learning disabilities through social activities and relationship support.

I had the pleasure of delivering the good news that FitzRoy had been chosen as Beatons Petersfield's Charity of the Year to Jim Apted, FitzRoy's passionate Community and Fundraising Coordinator. He was thrilled, as was Chief Executive, Anna Galliford who said, 'It is so important for FitzRoy to get local support, enabling us to continue our work supporting the most vulnerable members of our community. We would like to thank Beatons Petersfield for their big hearted approach and look forward to working with them, helping us to transform the lives of people with learning disabilities and autism through the coming year'.

Each Beatons has their own Charity of the Year and will have events to support it, as well as 50p from every sale of The Alex (soda) and our Community Chai Latte also being donated. Our first Beatons Petersfield charity event will be our Open House on Monday 6th November from 4.30 to 6.00 pm when you’ll have a chance to meet members of FitzRoy, enjoy a free cup of our Beatons Petersfield’s House tea – ‘The Duchess’ – and sample some of our home-baked cakes and scones. More importantly, there’ll be a little entertainment and a great opportunity to start raising some funds for FitzRoy! [Make a note in your diary and watch this space!]